Re: Machen Revisited

From: Clayton Bartholomew (
Date: Tue Sep 16 1997 - 06:31:47 EDT

Jim Oxford wrote:

> One question and comment regarding your post. Are you saying that during
> that first year when you were learning syntax, you paid little or no
> attention to morphology? That would seem rather difficult to me--to begin
> to grasp an inflected language without a morphological foundation.

Yes, Jim is right, I was not clear on this. I spent a year studying syntax and I paid a lot of
attention to morphology as it applied to the problems in syntax. I did not memorize
paradigms, I have never memorized paradigms. I did not memorize vocabulary. I have
never memorized vocabulary. This is an important distinction. One can be paying a lot of
attention to the morphology of the language without ever intentionally memorizing the
paradigms. When reading a Greek text, if I don't know a word or a form. I look it up. In the
first few years I made a lot of use of the multi-colored verb chart that has been floating
around for about fifty years. Later when I aquired the Fribergs analytical text I made
use of it. I don't use these very often now. Don't need to.

> One's context may greatly dictate the method one follows to learn Greek.
> At the seminary where I taught, the curriculum was structured in such a way
> to preclude learning Greek in the manner you describe above--students just
> didn't have the time to see forms or vocabulary "thousands of times" as
> they read and translated. (And I suspect many of them didn't have the
> desire either!)
I agree that this method of learning will not fit some educational contexts.

Clay Bartholomew
Three Tree Point

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